Connor Barwin’s Benefit Concert Raised $300,000 for Smith Playground Project

Saturday’s sold out benefit concert at Union Transfer raised a total of $300,000 for Connor Barwin’s foundation, Make The World Better Project. The money will help push MTWB’s plans for an “innovative” revitalization project at Smith Playground at 24th and Jackson in South Philadelphia that much closer to reality.

Urban Roots is a partner in the overall vision of park projects with MTWB and founder Jeffrey Tubbs confirmed the concert raised $150,000, an amount that the Eagles Linebacker matched to bring it to $300,000. The inaugural concert benefitted the project at Ralph Brooks Park at 20th and Tasker in Point Breeze and raised $185,000 in total. Tubbs previously told Property that he anticipated Saturday’s concert, which featured bands Parquet Courts, Canadian rocker Mac Demarco, The Suffers and Philly’s own Marian Hill, to raise around $200,000–needless to say, it was a success.

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It’s Full Steam Ahead at Two Game-Changing Park Projects in South Philly

Screen shot 2015-06-18 at 12.33.15 AM

The upcoming plans for Smith Playground | via Urban Roots

Connor Barwin has become somewhat of a folk hero here in Philly. When he isn’t making big time plays on the gridiron, he’s spearheading a few game-changing community revitalization projects at two South Philly parks through his foundation, the Make The World Better Project.

Through a partnership with the urban development non-profit Urban Roots Foundation, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and a slew of other local stakeholders, Barwin and crew are in the thick of a major project at Ralph Brooks Park at 20th and Tasker in Point Breeze and are about to kick off their efforts at another one, Smith Playground at 24th and Jackson. Jeffrey Tubbs, a Philly-based developer with JDT International and founder of Urban Roots, said that the project took its, ah-hem, roots over two and a half years ago with a meeting with Jahmall Crandall, the founder of I.am.SP (short for I am South Philadelphia). Crandall’s original vision sought to redo the ragged basketball courts at the park. Let’s just say he got his wish and a whole lot more.

Tubbs said the ideas then started to snowball into something bigger. First, enlarge and resurface the court and outfit it with a pair of top notch hoops. Next, freshen up the tot lot with a softer look and brand new play equipment. Then, as Tubbs explained, the project reached a tipping point when the PWD got involved and provided nearly $200,000 to install green infrastructure–namely, a rain garden in the southernmost part of the park–and advanced storm water management systems.

Boom–that’s all, right? It turns out that this is just the beginning.

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Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here’s what we saw during today’s Eagles practice session.

11:51 a.m. – I have joked before about being the lone passenger on the Marcus Smith bandwagon, but I swear that watching him move in practice, he looks like an NFL player. He’s long, athletic, and effort doesn’t seem to be an issue.

Maybe after being ping-ponged from outside linebacker to inside linebacker, it was the mental part that tripped him up last season. We’ll see if that’s the case once the pads come on.

By the way, speaking of the outside linebacker spot, Vinny Curry is getting some reps there, according to Chip Kelly. We know Curry can get after the passer, and he should have no problem setting the edge in the run game. But the question will be whether he can drop into coverage. Read more »

Kelce On Mathis: ‘They Didn’t Want the Distraction’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

 Jason Kelce said that there was more of an “underlying tone” to the Evan Mathis contract protests this time around, one that apparently clashed with the symphonic harmony emanating from One NovaCare Way.

“Last year there was some under-the-radar talks about it, stuff that was going on in the media, but nothing really concrete and he never really let it take place in front of the team or anything like that so it wasn’t a distraction,” said Kelce. “At this point obviously he would have missed all of OTAs. It was a much bigger deal throughout the season at this point.”

It was no surprise to Kelce, then, that Mathis was cut out of equation. Same for the rest of the Eagles players we talked to.

This week’s minicamp will wrap on Thursday, marking the end of the offseason conditioning program. Mathis was absent all spring. While everything save the minicamp is voluntary, several of his teammates suggested that he was in violation of an unwritten code of conduct. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Would Manuel Make Sense For Eagles?

EJ Manuel / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY

EJ Manuel / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY

Here are some Eagles-related links to check out this weekend.

According to NFL.com, there’s a chance the Bills might be looking to part ways with quarterback E.J. Manuel this summer. And Chris Wesseling thinks the Eagles could make sense as his potential next landing spot:

If the Bills end up dangling Manuel for a late-round pick in August, keep an eye on the Eagles as a potential trade partner.

After recruiting Manuel at Oregon, Chip Kelly told NFL Network in the lead-up to the 2013 NFL Draft that the former Florida State star was a player he “didn’t get a chance to coach but would like a chance to coach.”

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Three Leftovers: Kelce Working With Bradford

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

From Connor Barwin’s contract to Jason Kelce’s view of the QB situation to Jeremy Maclin’s praise for Nick Foles, here are three Eagles leftovers from Todd Herremans’ charity event on Thursday night.

1. Kelce is one of the Eagles players who stays in the Philadelphia area and works out at the NovaCare Complex in the offseason. That means he’s already had a chance to get a first impression of new quarterback Sam Bradford. So what does Kelce think?

“I’ve been meeting with him and going over things,” Kelce said. “I think he’s a guy that comes off as very cerebral, very smart, very quick. He’s had a lot of bad luck in his career as far as injuries are concerned and as far as… I don’t want to throw any offensive lines under the bus, but I think he’s much better suited now with us. I think that he has a good chance to be very successful in this offense.”

As for the draft, Kelce said he doesn’t think the Eagles will make a move to land Marcus Mariota. Read more »

Philadelphia Eagle Connor Barwin: “I Like Riding My Bike”

Connor Barwin | Photograph by Jeff Fusco

Connor Barwin | Photograph by Jeff Fusco

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is apparently in membership-drive mode this week, and it looks like they roped Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin in on the campaign. He’s featured in a quick PSA, posted online this week, explaining why he supports the Bicycle Coalition and bike riding in Philadelphia.  Read more »

Wake-Up Call: What Players Think Of Chip’s Moves

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

A bunch of Todd Herremans’ former teammates joined him Thursday night at Vie for his foundation’s third annual Hoops For Help fundraiser.

Herremans signed with the Colts after the Eagles released him, but he said he plans on eventually settling down in Philadelphia and will continue to be active in the community here.

Joining him were several former Eagles who now have new homes, like Trent ColeJeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy. Current Eagles Jason KelceConnor Barwin and Beau Allen were also in attendance, along with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

Earlier this week in Phoenix, Chip Kelly and Jeffrey Lurie did their best to explain the team’s offseason moves. But what do the players – both current and former – think? And do they believe Chip knows what he’s doing?

We asked them. Here’s what they had to say. Read more »

Just Listed: Connor Barwin’s Super-Cool Rittenhouse Condo

Left: Jeff Fusco | Right: BHHS Fox   Roach, Center City Walnut

Left: Jeff Fusco | Listing Images by OBEO Photographers via TREND/BHHS Fox & Roach, Center City Walnut

Connor Barwin, everyone’s favorite world-changing, bike-riding, Jane Jacobs-quoting member of the Philadelphia Eagles, just listed his super-cool condo in Rittenhouse for $1.25 million. Don’t freak out, Eagles fans. We know the past few weeks have been wild and crazy, but Barwin’s not going anywhere, except for some new digs of course.

As you know, Barwin’s style skews towards a hipstery/millennial/guy-with-great-hair kind of vibe, and it certainly shows in his home (note the Miles Davis poster and eclectic furniture). Read more »

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